It's almost hilariously over-rated at this point tbh. You read games sites bending over backwards to try and proclaim how some terrible feature of Elden Ring is actually brilliant because it's part of the 'creative vision'.
The game's combat is great; it feels meaty and visceral. And it's not afraid to challenge the player, which many modern games very much are - I don't need the game to pop up a 'suggestion' on where I should go next if I don't do anything for 30 seconds (which is literally something that they teach you to include in games design courses. They also teach you that 'the player should never be able to lose', which is dreadful advice). It's extremely satisfying to defeat an enemy, as mistakes are brutally punished and so managing to down a boss means you know you've played more or less perfectly.
However, everything else is mediocre. The graphics are very dated. The engine is sub-par and the performance issues on modern PC hardware are inexcusable. The frame rate lock on PC is absurd; the keyboard and mouse controls are poor, and you can't even remap several keybinds because apparently Fromsoft just outright forgot to include them in the options menu.
The story is frankly incomprehensible from in-game (I've completed the game and didn't know half the stuff mentioned in the article). The open world is a lifeless, empty thing with few quest givers and otherwise inhabited by endless bands of wandering monsters like an early-2000s MMO. It's largely just a selection of swamps and forests. Your actions have very little impact on the world around you, in a manner which most open world games get slammed for, but for some reason Fromsoft games don't.
The UI is extremely bad. This is repeatedly hailed as some kind of visionary minimalism but in many cases it's actually just obtuse and lazy design. You can't compare kit in shops against your existing gear, so you can't tell if it's better or not unless you either buy it, or else write down your present armour's stats on a scrap of paper. There's no quest log, or notes of any kind. Buffs are just symbols which are never explained anywhere, so you may have no idea what the hell the icons mean unless you look them up on a third party website.
Combat mechanics are not really explained to the player at all, so quite a lot of the game's much-vaunted difficulty is simply a matter of not really knowing what the hell is going on. Once you understand stuff like i-frames, or the interaction between stamina and block, or what poise actually is, the combat becomes much easier. You will need to look up all these concepts in third-party guides, however, as this information is not presented in game at all.
The game is incredibly grindy. You need to spend hours and hours farming runes from trash mobs, and the runes you get from a given enemy only loosely correlates to how difficult the enemy is - you might get 400 for killing a huge giant that can 1-shot you and has a giant melee range, but get 1000+ from weedy slow human-size grunts who only take a couple of hits to kill. Many of the best armour pieces likewise require repeatedly killing specific trash mobs over and over; there's one specific knight in the first major dungeon who can drop very good armour pieces with a very low drop rate. Again, discovering this requires either exceptional luck, or resorting to third party websites.
The lack of difficulty options is routinely held up as a vital design decision to maintain the True Creative Vision, but including an easy mode that reduced enemy health and damage by, say, 30% each, or simply increased runes per kill by 20% so you levelled up quicker would not have been some terrible compromise.
Ultimately, it's a good game. But it's in no way perfect and honestly I've no idea why so many reviewers are terrified to admit that it isn't, possibly for fear of a legion of toxic fanboys flooding their review's comment section with 'GIT GUD!!' bollocks. Either that, or they've been so starved of decent games over the pandemic that even something fairly average like ER looks amazing at this point.